Thursday, 11 September 2014

Celebrating Roald Dahl Day in foreign language learning

September is Roald Dahl month and it's also his birthday on 13 September plus it's the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
It seems to me an opportunity this month to make links between languages and literacy!

This is a good opportunity to switch that "cultural lightbulb on" and allow children to realise that stories we love in english are also loved in other languages too!

What's the story? 
This is a simple reading recognition activity
A really simple idea is to share with the children the front covers of Dahl's novels in the target language and ask the children to decide what the title in English of each Dahl story book  must be.
For example ask the children which books are these and how do you know?(Key words,names and picture clues)
Maybe you can show the children these books in familiar and unfamiliar languages 

What's our favourite story!
This is a speaking and listening activity based on a question and a response 
If you have shared a range of story book covers in the target language that the children are learning then you are now ready for a class survey. Let's make it just a simple tally survey where children interview each other and ask each other  "Which is your favourite book?" (using the book titles that you have introduced in step one of course- so the children are familiar  with the book titles!).

Building characters
This is a bilingual dictionary adjective search which can be developed into a focus on adjectival agreement and the use of verbs to have and to be create simple sentences 
Using bi-lingual dictionaries and pictures on the screen at the front of the classroom can your class help you to build an adjective profile of some of the most famous Dahl characters?
with more advanced learners can the children create full sentence descriptions of their Roald Dahl characters and can they add descriptions of the characters clothes and looks?

Silhouette characters.
This is an activity where the children can compose their own character descriptions at different levels:
Adjective gathering
Adjectives in simple sentences
Addition of nouns such as clothes and facial features
Choice of verbs in present tense 
Writing and speaking activities 
Now you can create Dahl outlines. 
Ask the children to pick their favourite character and to draw the silhouette outline of the chosen  character and fill the outline with the adjectives that make up the character's personality.
With more advanced learners or more able children encourage them to add adverbs and interesting verbs 
Why not hold a character identity parade?
Ask child  to introduce and describe their silhouettes in either the first of the third person singular!

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